English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 4: Al-Nisa — Women (Revealed at Madinah: 24 sections, 176 verses)

Section 18 (Verses 4:116–4:126): Idolatry Condemned



اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَغۡفِرُ اَنۡ یُّشۡرَکَ بِہٖ وَ یَغۡفِرُ مَا دُوۡنَ ذٰلِکَ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یُّشۡرِکۡ بِاللّٰہِ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ ضَلٰلًۢا بَعِیۡدًا ﴿۱۱۶﴾

4:116 Surely Allah does not forgive setting up partners with Him, and He forgives all besides this to whom He pleases. And whoever sets up a partner with Allah, he indeed goes far astray.

اِنۡ یَّدۡعُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اِلَّاۤ اِنٰثًا ۚ وَ اِنۡ یَّدۡعُوۡنَ اِلَّا شَیۡطٰنًا مَّرِیۡدًا ﴿۱۱۷﴾ۙ

4:117 Besides Him they call on nothing but female divinities1 and they call on nothing but a rebellious devil,

لَّعَنَہُ اللّٰہُ ۘ وَ قَالَ لَاَتَّخِذَنَّ مِنۡ عِبَادِکَ نَصِیۡبًا مَّفۡرُوۡضًا ﴿۱۱۸﴾ۙ

4:118 whom Allah has cursed. And he said: Certainly I will take of Your servants an appointed portion;

وَّ لَاُضِلَّنَّہُمۡ وَ لَاُمَنِّیَنَّہُمۡ وَ لَاٰمُرَنَّہُمۡ فَلَیُبَتِّکُنَّ اٰذَانَ الۡاَنۡعَامِ وَ لَاٰمُرَنَّہُمۡ فَلَیُغَیِّرُنَّ خَلۡقَ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّتَّخِذِ الشَّیۡطٰنَ وَلِیًّا مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ فَقَدۡ خَسِرَ خُسۡرَانًا مُّبِیۡنًا ﴿۱۱۹﴾ؕ

4:119 and certainly I will lead them astray and excite in them vain desires and bid them so that they will slit the ears of the cattle,2 and bid them so that they will alter Allah’s creation.3 And whoever takes the devil for a friend, forsaking Allah, he indeed suffers a manifest loss.

یَعِدُہُمۡ وَ یُمَنِّیۡہِمۡ ؕ وَ مَا یَعِدُہُمُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ اِلَّا غُرُوۡرًا ﴿۱۲۰﴾

4:120 He promises them and excites vain desires in them. And the devil promises them only to deceive.

اُولٰٓئِکَ مَاۡوٰىہُمۡ جَہَنَّمُ ۫ وَ لَا یَجِدُوۡنَ عَنۡہَا مَحِیۡصًا ﴿۱۲۱﴾

4:121 These — their refuge is hell, and they will find no way of escape from it.

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ سَنُدۡخِلُہُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَاۤ اَبَدًا ؕ وَعۡدَ اللّٰہِ حَقًّا ؕ وَ مَنۡ اَصۡدَقُ مِنَ اللّٰہِ قِیۡلًا ﴿۱۲۲﴾

4:122 And those who believe and do good, We shall make them enter Gardens in which rivers flow, to abide in them forever. It is Allah’s promise, in truth. And who is more truthful in word than Allah?

لَیۡسَ بِاَمَانِیِّکُمۡ وَ لَاۤ اَمَانِیِّ اَہۡلِ الۡکِتٰبِ ؕ مَنۡ یَّعۡمَلۡ سُوۡٓءًا یُّجۡزَ بِہٖ ۙ وَ لَا یَجِدۡ لَہٗ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ وَلِیًّا وَّ لَا نَصِیۡرًا ﴿۱۲۳﴾

4:123 It will not be in accordance with your vain desires nor the vain desires of the People of the Book. Whoever does evil, will be recompensed for it and will not find for himself besides Allah a friend or a helper.4

وَ مَنۡ یَّعۡمَلۡ مِنَ الصّٰلِحٰتِ مِنۡ ذَکَرٍ اَوۡ اُنۡثٰی وَ ہُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ یَدۡخُلُوۡنَ الۡجَنَّۃَ وَ لَا یُظۡلَمُوۡنَ نَقِیۡرًا ﴿۱۲۴﴾

4:124 And whoever does good deeds, whether male or female, and is a believer — these will enter the Garden, and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least.

وَ مَنۡ اَحۡسَنُ دِیۡنًا مِّمَّنۡ اَسۡلَمَ وَجۡہَہٗ لِلّٰہِ وَ ہُوَ مُحۡسِنٌ وَّ اتَّبَعَ مِلَّۃَ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ حَنِیۡفًا ؕ وَ اتَّخَذَ اللّٰہُ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ خَلِیۡلًا ﴿۱۲۵﴾

4:125 And who is better in religion than he who submits himself entirely to Allah while doing good (to others) and follows the faith of Abraham, the upright one? And Allah took Abraham for a friend.

وَ لِلّٰہِ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَ کَانَ اللّٰہُ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ مُّحِیۡطًا ﴿۱۲۶﴾٪

4:126 And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And Allah ever encompasses all things.



  1. The word translated here as “female divinities” can signify in­ani­mate things, such as trees and stones and wood, which they worshipped, as well as idols because they named the idols as females.
  2. The practice of slitting or cutting off the ear of certain animals was a prevalent form of polytheism in Arabia, for such an animal was looked upon as devoted to certain idols.
  3. A comparison with 30:30 will show clearly that by Allah’s crea­tion is here meant the religion of Allah, the natural religion of man. By the devil’s changing the creation of Allah is therefore meant the changing of the natural reli­gion of man which requires obedience to Allah and His laws. Some commen­tators understand by changing the creation of Allah the using of His created things for an object other than that for which they were created, and worshipping objects such as the sun, etc., which were really created to be subservient to man.
  4. Editor’s Note: Divine reward is not bestowed upon anyone in accor­dance with their vain desires, whether they are Muslims or Jews or Chris­tians. People are judged by their deeds, and rewarded or punished accordingly.